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Top Rated Attractions in Moscow

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Sparrow Hills

Billed to be one of the highest points of the city, the soaring Sparrow Hills lies delicately nestled along the banks of the Moskva River. Towering 220 meters (720 feet) above river level, the hill proudly watches over the dynamic, ever-evolving landscape of Moscow, including many of its landmarks like the Luzhniki Stadium, Christ the Savior Cathedral, the gleaming domes of Novodevichy Convent and the imposing Seven Sisters. Having been a muse to many Russians poets and writers in the past, the hill is crowned by an observation tower which overlooks the beautiful bend of the river shrouded by swathes of dense green scenery. Strewn across the lofty scope of the hills are buildings which are some of the most magnificent of their kind in the city, including the awe-inspiring Moscow State University complex and the picturesque Trinity Church.

Alexander Gardens

The Alexander Gardens were developed between 1820 and 1823 and run along the west wall of the Kremlin. The gardens occupy an area of about 865 meters (2838 feet). In his attempt to make the gardens as distinctive as possible, Osip Bove combined an orderly plan with the free arrangement of trees plus elements of romantic-style gardens. The gardens are bordered by decorative iron railings. Locals and foreign tourists often come to the gardens to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Being a popular public spot, the garden is open throughout the year.

Hermitage Gardens

This garden lying near the north-west stretch of the Garden Ring was founded in 1892 on Karetny Ryad by the entrepreneur Yakov Schukin. The park opened in 1894 and was an immediate success with the public. Nowadays the grounds of the park accommodate three older theatres: New Opera, Sphere, and the Hermitage. A sprinkling of park furniture, flower-beds and decorative touches further enhance the park and by night it is all lit up by 19th century-style lanterns.

WINZAVOD Centre for Contemporary Art

The WINZAVOD Centre for Contemporary Art is housed in a former wine-bottling factory, in the heart of Moscow city. Today it is one of the biggest and most prestigious art galleries in Russia. The mission of the art center is to develop and support contemporary art in the country and make it part of everyday life. The center has 12 galleries, a shop and cafe, and is a very popular venue with people of all ages. To keep pace with the growing interest in contemporary art, it plays hosts to several exhibitions, theater, dance shows, workshops and several other innovative projects. The ticket prices vary by exhibits in each gallery, while some galleries have a free entry.

Moscow Zoo

Founded by a public society in 1864, the Moscow Zoo is the biggest and best maintained in Russia. The zoo's 49 acres are filled with cages and unbarred enclosures which both the visitors and (one hopes) the inhabitants enjoy greatly. The zoo contains more than 5000 examples of 550 species. Located a five minute walk from the White House, the zoo is adored in equal measure by Muscovites young and old.

St. Basil's Cathedral

A mesmerizing collection of vivid hues and patterned domes, St. Basil's Cathedral looms at the southern end of the Red Square, one of Russia's most widely-recognized architectural monuments. Originally built between 1555 and 1561 to commemorate the victory of Ivan IV over the Tatars in Kazan, the cathedral was a vision in white stone with gilded domes; the riotous milieu of colors and patterns were not added until the 17th Century. Little is known about the architects of this majestic edifice and for a time legend had it that Ivan IV had the duo blinded to prevent them from replicating the spectacular design. Originally composed of nine chapels, a tenth was added a few years later where the tomb of St. Basil "the holy fool" lies. Although officially named the Cathedral of the Intercession, this historic jewel's more popular moniker derives from this. Today, St. Basil's Cathedral is a museum attracting droves of visitors each year, inspiring awe in all those who lay their eyes upon its rich facade.

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